Around the Gymternet: Guys only like girls who have great skills


Zhang Jin

I feel like it’s a piece of performance art that I’m too stupid to parse.Deadspin’s Dvora Meyers on Axelle Klinckaert’s new Harry Potter-inspired floor routine

Comp news

The Cups: Read The Gymternet’s coverage of the Stuttgart World Cup, the DTB Pokal Team Challenge, and the Baku World Cup.

Housekeeping: For your sanity as well as mine, I’ve pulled together all of the rosters I could find for upcoming comps. Enjoy!

World Cups: Birmingham, Doha, Tokyo

2018 Colonialism Commonwealth Games (subdivisions): Australia, Canada, Cayman Islands (WAG), Cyprus, England, Isle of Man (WAG), India, Jamaica (MAG), Jersey, Malaysia, Malta (WAG), Namibia (MAG), New Zealand, Nigeria (MAG), Northern Ireland (MAG), Scotland, Singapore, South Africa (WAG), Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago (MAG), Wales

JesoloBrazil, Canada, China, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Romania, Russia, USA, Venezuela

What’s happening

Speaking up: Aly Raisman came forward with complaints about the conditions at the Karolyi Ranch, such as moldy showers, bad food, and “disgusting” dorms. She says the overall environment, along with the lack of medical facilities at the site, made it easier for former national team doctor Larry Nassar to “treat” gymnasts behind closed doors.

Kelli Hill—famed coach of stars like Dominique Dawes, Elise Ray, and Courtney Kupets—disagreed with parts of Raisman’s account on Facebook, along with Mary Lee Tracy. 2000 Olympic team alternate Alyssa Beckerman also responded, saying she “completely agree[s]” with Raisman.

When they knew: Jordyn Wieber responded on Wednesday to a court filing alleging that the victim impact statements made during Nassar’s sentencing don’t prove that USA Gymnastics knew about the abuse prior to June 2015.

Wieber says she saw an employee become aware of Nassar’s behavior before that time, and that this latest move is another attempt by USAG to silence survivors.

USOC under fire: A lawsuit has been filed claiming that the U.S. Olympic Committee tried to prevent attempts to investigate sexual abuse in Olympic sports. Meanwhile, five Olympic athletes wrote in a letter that the USOC should be overhauled due to its response to sexual abuse.

The state of Michigan

The law: After delaying the vote due to pressure from universities, the Church, and other groups, bills that in part extend the statute of limitations for abuse survivors passed in the Michigan Senate on Wednesday. They will move to the House next.

Michigan State University Interim President John Engler visited the Senate on Wednesday to ask legislators to delay the vote further. Rachael Denhollander criticized this move, prompting Engler spokesman John Truscott to say that it was “inappropriate” for Denhollander, who is an attorney, to comment on “something they know nothing about.”

Denhollander ripped Truscott on Twitter, saying “This is how MSU treats sexual assault survivors.”

There’s more: On Thursday, Engler argued that legislators had interfered with settlement talks with survivors by giving lawyers more leverage against MSU, and that the legislation was “driven by attorneys.” Survivors, including Denhollander, say that Engler is lying.

Engler also said on Thursday that the money needed for MSU to settle with Nassar survivors will likely come from taxpayers and students, and that costs will rise with the new legislation.

Other things:

  • William Strampel—Nassar’s former boss at MSU—told a group of students and administrators in 2016 that he did not believe the women who came forward with abuse allegations.
  • Survivors have filed court motions to seek depositions from 16 people connected with MSU, including former college president Lou Anna Simon.
  • Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said on Twitter that she would like to hold a symbolic hearing where sexual abuse survivors could make statements.
  • Randall Margraves—the father who tried to attack Nassar during his Eaton County sentencing—has donated the $30,000 that was raised on his behalf to four non-profits.

Required reading

  • MSU needs to stop fighting lawsuits, and instead focus on doing what is right for survivors (Detroit Free Press).
  • Engler’s actions don’t match his words (The Athletic).
  • We must do more for assault victims (The Detroit News).
  • The Balance Beam Situation breaks down Ranchgate.
  • Here’s what states are doing to prevent the next Larry Nassar (Vice).

Star status

Get well get well soon: Italy’s Alice D’Amato has a fractured ankle, but she hopes to be back for the Junior European Championships in August.

Meanwhile, Maria Paseka is feeling better after back surgery, but she won’t return in the 2018 season. Unclear if either has access to Sun Chips.

You’re yes then you’re no: Not unlike me putting leftovers into tupperware, Great Britain’s Charlie Fellows realized she might not be done after all.

To Russia with Love: Ukrainian dude Oleg Stepko will receive Russian citizenship with the goal of competing at the Russian championships this year.

Double threat: Trinity Thomas took silver in a diving competition, a violation of my strict policy that you’re only allowed to be amazing at one thing.

NCAA corner

Pheta Delta Phi wet t-shirt contest: Here are recaps of recent college meets.

Organized choreographed dance: If you thought the only thing missing from NCAA gym was group dance, you’re in luck: UCLA senior Peng Peng Lee danced on the floor for her final home performance before being joined by the rest of her coven, as the school tearfully honored its almost-adults.

Actual witches: Washington also honored its seniors with tears and a coven huddle, and other teams like LSU had their moment as well. I may or may not know what women actually do in groups.

Guest appearance: Skating man Adam Rippon showed up at UCLA’s final home meet of the year, presumably so gym fans could thank him for making Andrea Joyce uncomfortable.

Pants pants revolution: This Illinois gymnast could’ve done a triple double off those parallel bars and I wouldn’t have noticed because pants.

Free chicken meat: LSU teamed up with Chick-fil-A to give away free sandwiches, but if you ask me, a partnership between fast food chicken and athletics is just a slippery slope.

Staying social…ly conscious

The campaign: USA’s Akash Modi is raising money for gym-related expenses on his way to Tokyo 2020. Snaps to Luba, who notices such things.

Take my money: Bidding starts at $4,800 to join Laurie Hernandez at nationals in Boston. Proceeds will benefit First Book, a non-profit that promotes early literacy.

Need to know

Listen to last week’s gymcastic.

Last words

Aliya Mustafina: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, or Hufflepuff? Vote in the comments, but keep things civil, people.

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14 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: Guys only like girls who have great skills

  1. Aliya is a slytherin. 4sure. She’s Ambitious (hence, attempting her third olympic games), a strong leader (hence, carrying the Russian team on her back last quad), and achievement oriented (hence, her seven olympic medals and 10000 world/european medals).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree about Aliya being a slytherin, though I think she also has some definete Ravenclaw aspects.A slytherclaw is kind of rare, isn’t it? I LOVE all the HP references and Axelle is my new hero

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m bummed about Rose Woo getting injured and hope it’s just minor so that she can still be in the mix for Worlds at least. She and Brooklyn bring lots of artistry and beauty to the Canadian Team. I love her current floor.


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